So You Want A Shiba Inu...

Be prepared - you may have to wait for several months for your special puppy. Shibas have very small (1-4) litters, and waiting lists are the norm.

Breeder Directory

  • These are Shiba Inu Canada members in good standing. The Club takes no responsibility for claims or contract agreements. The Club strongly urges potential owners to fully research both the breed and the breeder.

Rescue Page

  • On this page are listed Shiba Inu in search of new homes - please contact the people or organization listed for each dog.


  1. To find a Canadian breeder, the Dogs Annual lists paid advertisers. This magazine is available from book stores, large grocery stores, etc and most veterinary clinics keep a copy or two on the premises. The internet is also a good source, as is your local vet or feed supply store.
  2. Do not be afraid to ask questions of the breeder! If possible, visit in person. Shibas are spotless, there is no excuse for filth. The dogs should be happy and active. Watch how the dogs respond to humans - they should be interested, alert, and keen to have attention from their breeder. Some will be more standoffish, and do not offer attention to strangers.
  3. Do NOT "rescue" a puppy from a pet store. While it is heartbreaking to walk away, for every puppy bought, 3 more are produced to supply the demand. The pet store puppies are produced in "puppy mills", under appalling conditions, with no regard to health, temperament, or genetic screening.
  4. Price varies from region to region, and from breeder to breeder. Be prepared for prices from $600 to $1200. Be aware that ANY dog sold as purebred must have Canadian Kennel Club registration papers provided to the new owner, at no extra cost. Written contracts should be signed by all parties, with terms and conditions clearly defined.
  5. The breeder should ask questions of you, too. Lifestyle, living conditions, expectations of a dog; all help to ensure that the puppy is going to families that are well prepared for the unique little package named "Shiba"!


How big is a Shiba?
14" - 16" at the shoulder, 18 - 25 lbs.

Do they shed?
Yes, twice a year. Thick wooly undercoat is shed in the fall and spring, and it is messy.

Are Shibas hypoallergenic?
NO. While not as bad as some breeds, sensitive individuals may experience allergic reactions.

Can Shibas be trained?

YES. They are very intelligent and learn quickly. However, this does not mean they are obedient! Social training is easy, formal obedience training can be a challenge, particularly the off-leash work.

Do they need a fenced yard?
YES. Shibas were bred to hunt - this meant running all day. Fences should be at least 4' high, with no spaces of more than 3". If they can get their head through a hole, the rest of the body will follow.

Are they good apartment dogs?
Generally NO. When young, Shibas need exercise, and lots of it. If confined in a small apartment all day while the family is out, a young Shiba will bark, chew, and do all those awful things dogs do when they are bored. If someone is home most of the day with them, and there is the opportunity to get outside for exercise several times a day, Shibas can manage nicely in an apartment.

What kind of health problems are there in the breed?
At this point in time, the Shiba is generally a healthy dog. The most widespread problem is likely immune related issues (itchy skin, allergies, etc). Hip dysplaysia has been reported - reputable breeders X-ray their stock to reduce the incidence of this. Slipping patellas, some eye diseases and heart problems have also appeared, not in large numbers, but enough that breeders need to be aware and screening their breeding animals.

How are they with cats?
Surprisingly good... but remember that this is also an individual personality trait - not ALL Shibas may accept ALL cats. If a cat runs, a Shiba will chase it.

Are Shibas good with children?
YES, if they are raised with kids that treat animals with respect. If they have not been exposed to children when they (the puppies) were very young, they may be very apprehensive around children, particularly toddlers. Patience and pleasant experiences with children are the best teachers.

What's BAD about Shibas?
We are, of course, of the opinion that Shibas are perfect, but...

  1. there is that shedding thing.
  2. they need LOTS of exercise, particularly when young.
  3. owners need LOTS of patience, particularly when young (see above!).
  4. they can be stubborn, and ignore you, much like a cat would.
  5. if they get loose, they may be gone for days, if they can avoid getting hit by a car or attacked by other dogs.
  6. there is that superior attitude - owners must possess just as much, if not more, self-esteem than the dog.

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